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Home > About us > History

A short history of the headquarters of the Office International des Epizooties

Built by a banker,
purchased by the Marquise de Montebello,
and sold to the OIE in 1939

From a plot of land


Mr Deligny and Mrs Degrai, his wife, set aside this plot of land for their son as a marriage gift. The land formed part of a larger plot, which they acquired from members of the Office of the Domaine National de la Seine, on 13 Thermidor, year 5 (31 July 1796).

In 1858, on the death of Deligny, the son, the land was auctioned on behalf of his widow for the sum of 100,200 francs. It was acquired by Monsieur Montane, a former député, in 1859. In 1860, Monsieur Émile Pereire bought the land on credit for the sum of 294,960 francs on behalf of the Pereire/Deligny partnership.

In 1865, a part of the land was expropriated for the construction of the rue de Prony.


to a private house

In 1879, the land was purchased by Jonas Abraham Antoine Königwarter, a retired banker, who built the existing house.

In 1883, Mr Königwarter died, leaving all his possessions to the children of his niece Saraline Kann, née Königwarter.

In 1885, Mr Luis Teresio Dorado, a Bolivian subject of independent means, purchased the building for 462,000 francs.

On 22 April 1889, Mr Dorado died. He was survived by his wife, Mrs Julie Hay, born in Talna (Peru) on 24 December 1869, whom he had married according to a settlement under which each partner managed their assets separately. His sole heir was Miss María Luisa Carlota Dorado, a minor, born on 14 August 1889 (who died in Biarritz on 4 September 1922).

In 1893, Mrs Julie Hay reacquired the building and, in 1902, she remarried. Her second husband was Maurice Napoléon Jean Lannes, Marquis de Montebello and Prince of Sievers, and she thus became the Marquise de Montebello.

On 22 February 1939, the building was sold by the Marquise de Montebello to the Office International des Epizooties, represented by its Director, Prof. Emmanuel Leclainche, Member of the French Institute, for 700,000 francs.

 

Description of the building at the end of the 19th century

As purchased by the Office, the house was disposed as follows:

The main building

On the ground floor, access to the entrance hall was by a flight of 13 steps. At the base of the mirror, a window box.
The hall gave access to the large and small communicating rooms, with French windows overlooking the street.
A dining room, a pantry, a billiard room overlooking the courtyard.
A cloakroom, a lavatory.

On the first floor, three bedrooms, each with a dressing room, overlooking the street and two bedrooms, each with a dressing room, overlooking the courtyard.

On the second floor, two bedrooms, each with a dressing room, overlooking the courtyard.

The attic

Ten bedrooms.

The courtyard

A glazed canopy on the southern wall.

Outbuildings

In the basement, a cellar and filtering soil closets.
On the ground floor, stabling for four horses and a coachhouse for five vehicles.
On the first floor, a hay loft and four bedrooms for coachmen.

Behind the outbuildings

A small courtyard with a manure pit and lavatory.


At present:

On the ground floor are the Leclainche Room, the Ramon Room and the Oval Room.

The bedrooms on the two upper floors were converted into offices at the end of the 1950s. The attic was made into an apartment at the same period, and converted into offices in 1981.

The outbuildings have been demolished. In their place is a building constructed in 1990 which was transformed and enlarged in 2001.

In 1968, the René Vittoz Conference Room was created beneath the courtyard, and was modernised in 1994. General Sessions of the International Committee had previously been held on the ground floor of the main building, in what are now the Leclainche and Ramon Rooms, thus forming an L-shaped room in an attempt to accommodate all the Delegates.